Monday, June 16, 2008

Hey! Back at Clemson!

For once, I am actually going to blog about a race right after the race itself. Pretty amazing, huh? Julia and I went down to Clemson to do the SERC race there. I seem to race this course a whole lot during the year, and I get kinda tired of it. However, since it is only an hour from my house, it is hard to miss out on doing any of these races. So, once again, we packed up for the day, and drove down to the heat.
I was glad that our races were early in the day so as to avoid much of the heat, but even starting at 9:30, it still was already 80 degrees. I just about missed the start, lined up against about 15 other riders, and set off into the woods. I didn’t get the best start in the world, and ended up going into the singletrack 8th or 9th wheel. “No problem,” I thought, “my goal is to start slow and be consistent today, so I’ll just work my way up through the field.” Yeah, I was still pushing pretty hard, and lost sight of the leaders WAY too quickly. After passing 2 of the riders directly in front of me, I didn’t see anybody else until the end of the lap.
I finally caught up to the rider directly in front of me, and after playing tag for a little while, I was finally able to drop him. After that, it was just about surviving. My legs weren’t responding the way that I wanted them to, and I was suffering up the climbs. I had just installed a granny gear on my bike, and I actually was pretty glad that I had it on the steeper climbs. My descending was OK, but I still was lacking the smoothness and flow that I had the last time I raced here. By the final lap, I was suffering pretty good, and had a hint of cramping in both legs.
I ended up getting 5th, only 15 seconds of the guy in front of me. I was pushing on the last lap trying to catch him, but he just had too big of a gap, and I couldn’t pull it off. The winner was something like 13 minutes ahead of me, but since he beat 2nd by almost 9, and has been dominating all year, I feel pretty good about my race for the condition that I was in. I’m hoping that I am on track for nationals, and should be able to get in some good training between now and then. I don’t actually have any more races to do before Nats, so I’ll have to find something else to write about until then.
The rest of the Sycamore Team had some good results and good times. Julia got 7th in her first real expert race, which is a really good result considering her approach and general disdain for “training.” Tasha, the newest addition to our team, won the Women’s Pro/Expert race, beating out second by about a minute. Capitan America came and gave everyone a killer feed and photo shoot. I’m pretty sure that it takes a experienced racer to give a good feed, and the one we had was straight PRO. After we were done with awards, we headed over to Ruby Tuesday’s for some post-race burgers. Yeah, we seem to do that a lot. Not that I’m complaining at all. I realized that one of the very nice things about racing Clemson is that it is only an hour away. Pretty much every other race is over 2, so when you can be back home, relaxing on the couch within an hour, that is something pretty cool. So yeah, I’m pretty much chilling today, so I’m gonna go get back to that. Until next time, keep the rubber side down.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Boredom anyone???

So, uhh, it's been a while since I've posted anything. Yeah. Not a whole lot has happened since my last post, and in all honesty, I just haven't really had the time or desire to write anything at all. I went to Alabama to race at the Bump and Grind, and in spite of some good results from teammates, my race was far from enjoyable, and I ended up pulling out before the finish. It was God awful hot down there, and I can't understand why people (myself included) would ever live down there. Unless you have a morbid fascination with fire ants, there really isn't all that much worth the heat.
Anyway, life outside of racing has been pretty good. I've either been training hard, working, or hanging out with my totally-pumped-about-cycling girlfriend. Yeah. Actually, it's been unusually hot up here in the mountains too. I guess that is what generally happens in summer, but still, you don't expect it to get that hot up here this early in the hot season.
I pretty much don't have much to write about right now... I'm going to Clemson this weekend, and I promise a race report from that. Yeah. Right.